6 Steps to a Successful Celebrity Fundraising Partnership
When organizations partner with celebrity influencers and online giving, their mission can get maximized through social sharing and fundraising. This can lead to more awareness, donations raised and community support for your cause. Launching a celebrity partnership can feel like an intimidating project, but let’s breakdown a straightforward approach for how you can manage a celebrity-endorsed program.
1. Consider Your Existing Supporter-base to Locate an Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate should support your mission from their platform and hopefully be willing to give to your programs with their time, talents and treasures. Your celebrity should also help you deepen your engagement with your existing target market or help you branch into a new area you are trying to advance.
2. Determine Your Win-win Proposition
Once you identify what is important to the celebrity and how that aligns with your mission, you can define your ask from the partnership. Your programs should align with your celebrity’s core beliefs, brand, or personal interests. Ask celebrities to record a quick video for “Why I’m an Advocate” to your organization. These can be shared on social media, uploaded to YouTube and embedded on a campaign story, or promoted through your marketing channels.
As an organization, you should provide talking points around the campaign and its impact, as well as pre-determined calls to action (donate $10, create a fundraising page, share on social media, etc).
Pro Tip: Before the celebrity launches a fundraiser, make sure you set up time for training and assign one of your staff members as a main point of contact for any technical or how-to questions. Some celebrities may prefer you handle all the building while others may want to be hands on. Accommodate as needed and make sure they feel confident, supported and coached throughout the process.
3. Leverage the Power of Peer-to-peer Influence
Brand trust and loyalty are getting replaced by networks. People are transitioning to trusting their friends, friends of friends, community, co-workers and more. The transparency of social media helps us, now more than ever, feel like the people we follow are our friends; that this is a two-way relationship and by them delivering calls to action and us completing them, the relationship is symbiotic.
When you combine a fundraising call to action with a celebrity influence, the impact can be so meaningful to your mission. Look at Emilia Clark and her nonprofit SameYou. On March 30th, she posted a video on Instagram with a favor: Donate to her COVID-19 Relief Fund. In return (or as she says, as thank you), 12 donors will be selected at random to join her for a virtual dinner party. In less than 48 hours, the campaign generated 24 fundraisers, over 1200 donors and almost 40,000 pounds.
Rosie O’Donnell used her celebrity influence (and the influence of her friends) in a special one-night only return of The Rosie O’Donnell . She brought together some of the biggest names in entertainment (live from their homes!) to benefit The Actors Fund in order to provide aid during the coronavirus outbreak. Donations from the program routed through a donation form.
4. Show Appreciation
You can target your donors and supporters with a link to a thank you video from the celebrity. Additionally, consider ways to ensure your celebrity feels thanked! This could be as simple as just asking him or her what you can do to show your appreciation. Cultivating the relationships and an attitude of gratitude throughout the campaign will help retain the partnership and the donors.
5. Share on Social
Most celebrities will share it once, announcing the effort, and provide an additional update. Once the fundraising campaign is complete, a personal thank you video is a wonderful option to wrap up the efforts and show gratitude to those who participated.
Pro Tip: If you want to promote on Instagram, you can add the link to your bio or use the “Swipe Up” feature to drive traffic to the donation form. You can also leverage Twitch for livestream fundraising or add a link to your chat on platforms like Zoom and Facebook Live.
6. Have the Right Technology in Place
While a modern, mobile responsive donation form will work, consider incorporating interactive elements like social sharing, commenting, donor scrolls, progress meters, photo galleries, embedded video, and of course, a quick and easy way to make the actual donation. Impact statements or giving levels can help convey impact. A peer-to-peer fundraising solution with mobile, socially integrated pages will also help you quickly and easily amplify your message.